Activation of neutral sphingomyelinase 2 through hyperglycemia contributes to endothelial apoptosis via vesicle-bound intercellular transfer of ceramides
Background: Pro-apoptotic and pro-inflammatory ceramides are crucially involved in atherosclerotic plaque development. Local cellular ceramide accumulation mediates endothelial apoptosis, especially in type 2 diabetes mellitus, which is a major cardiovascular risk factor. In recent years, large extracellular vesicles (lEVs) have been identified as an important means of intercellular communication and as regulators of cardiovascular health and disease. A potential role for lEVs as vehicles for ceramide transfer and inductors of diabetes-associated endothelial apoptosis has never been investigated.